Book chapter

Semantic rivalry between French deverbal neologisms in -age, -ion and -ment


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  • 2023
Published in:
  • Kotowski S. & Plag I, The Semantics of Derivational Morphology. - Berlin: De Gruyter. - 2023, p. 143-176
English This study investigates the semantic aspects of the rivalry between French nominalizing suffixes -age, -ion and -ment. To control for lexicalization effects on derivational semantics, a sample of neologisms ending with the three suffixes is examined. A detailed systematic description of base verbs and derived nouns is provided, taking into account their lexical ambiguity. A total of 501 verb-noun pairs are described with respect to lexical aspect, semantic role assignment properties, and nominal semantic type. Different statistical methods are used to evaluate the relative influence of these properties on suffix selection, the predictability of suffix distribution, and the gradient nature of the rivalry between the three suffixes. Results reveal the importance of discriminative properties such as the referential type of a noun and the ability for event-denoting verbs and nouns to have a result state interpretation. Different degrees of distinctiveness and rivalry can be identified between the three suffixes. It appears that -age and -ment compete more with each other than they do with -ion.
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
Département de français
  • English
Language, linguistics
License undefined
Open access status
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